Do you ever get the Sunday Night Dreads?
It’s a feeling of unease about the week ahead that surfaces on Sunday morning and grows into suffocating anxiety towards the end of the day. You know you have the Sunday Night Dreads when your weekends are hijacked by thoughts like:
- I’ve got too much to do
- I haven’t done enough
- I’m behind
- I don’t know where to start
- I don’t know what the week’s going to bring
- I’ve forgotten something
- I should have done…
The problem with the Sunday Night Dreads is the way they surface and then linger. They cast a shadow over your weekend and set a negative tone for the week ahead.
This isn’t just sadness that the weekend is over.
This is a type of overthinking caused by the fear of not being enough and it has Imposter Syndrome written all over it.
The Sunday Night Dreads come at a cost. It’s not just the stress. It’s not just the tears you fight back and the fears you try to hide. Every hour you spend worrying and fretting about the week ahead, is an hour when you’re not enjoying the things you value most about your weekends:
- Being fully present with your family
- Reading a book
- Enjoying quality time with your partner
- Connecting with loved ones
- Playing with your baby
- Being there for a friend
One of the core skills every lawyer with Imposter Syndrome needs is the skill of coaching yourself out of feelings that produce unintentional results like this and into feelings that are more productive and useful.
You need to know what triggers your Imposter Syndrome and you need to be able to reassure yourself in that moment that nothing has gone wrong.
Your Imposter Syndrome isn’t a problem you need to fix.
It’s the puzzle of who you are and your only job is to solve it.
When you know who you are and show up to the Sunday Night Dreads from there, it calms your emotions so you can think at your highest level. You can evaluate the week ahead and make an empowered decision about what, if anything, you want to do about it.
At times, this may mean setting time aside on a Sunday to prepare what’s essential. Othertimes it may be a simple case of remembering who you are and trusting that you can handle whatever the week brings. Taking action from certainty in who you are (instead of the fear of who you’re not) is the only thing that will set you free. It will help you be more present and enjoy more of your weekend to the full.
Weekends are short enough as it is. Don’t make them any shorter.